IPVideo Corp.’s C3Fusion Center provides 24/7 monitoring of its clients' surveillance video as well as other building management systems. Surveillance systems today not only produce video but can also provide analytics, storage and access intrusion alerts. IP support of such sophisticated systems is a vital component for the future of physical security, the leader of a video standards organization told GovernmentVideo.
Centralizing surveillance systems so better data is provided by the cameras “can be very valuable for security directors,” said David Bunzel, executive director of the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance. It has developed standards for video devices, cameras and CDRs, enabling communication among the devices over the Internet.
PSIA’s IP media device specifications are designed to “create a common language” that will express alerts between devices, Bunzel said. PSIA seeks to provide security command centers with interoperability standards that will process and store security information, including video. The organization has used public events to demonstrate that its IP media device specifications work on various devices, he added.
Offering an example of how the standards would work with security systems, Bunzel describes the common action of an employee running an access card across a control reader. If the card is genuine, the intrusion alert is disabled; but it might also activate a camera to record who has the card.
If a camera does make a record of the employee entering the facility, the video will be fed to a storage device and the system will time code the footage so that it can be accessed later if needed, he said. Those functions are interoperable because the commands are communicated automatically across a system, he said.
Bunzel compares a security surveillance system with PSIA standards to “the old way,” which likely involves “file folders with five or six sets of information that are not integrated. So unless the user gets ahold of all those files, looks at the data and compares it, they aren’t going to be able to have a clean and efficient way to analyze a situation.”
Helping security directors obtain information assists them in making cost-effective decisions on how to manage security.
Cost is a concern for educators who want to make schools as safe as possible, and if there is trouble at a school, surveillance video over IP might provide school administrators the time needed to keep students and staff safe, said Howard Koenig, superintendent of South Country Central School District located in Brookhaven, N.Y.
The entire school system has been outfitted with 850 IP cameras inside and outside its buildings, Koenig said. “We’re trying to push the perimeter out and push any trouble that might occur further away from the building,” he said.
The IP cameras—about the size of half a grapefruit, and positioned unobtrusively on the ceiling— provide South Country with the ability to have all the camera feeds sent to the school’s command center where they can be monitored “with the click of a mouse,” Koenig said. In addition, the system enables any area in the school system to be viewed from Koenig’s office.
The system’s cameras are constantly recording, and the video remains in the system for about a week, so if an incident occurs after school that was not observed at the command center, the school system can sign onto that camera and go back and view the time period when the incident occurred, Koenig said. However, there are so many cameras they cannot all be monitored, especially after hours, which is why the school district is considering contracting IPVideo Corp. to monitor its surveillance video at one of the company’s C3Fusion centers.
IPVideo Corp.’s C3Fusion Center is a physical security information management system that enables users to tie in disparate sources of information into a common operating “picture,” said David Antar, its president.
With a common operating picture, a facility’s devices are linked; for instance, a building’s fire alarms or its door access systems might have security cameras deployed in, or near them, he said.
Alerts could originate from the video, motion detection, burglar alarm systems or even building management systems that control heat and air conditioning, or any other sensors that trigger alarms or alerts, Antar said. The C3Fusion center overseeing that system would access cameras aimed at the location where an event is occurring.
In addition, each of those IP cameras is “like a computer,” he said. IP cameras have “intelligence enabling features such as video analytics to HD recording, and each camera can become a recorder on its own.”
Canon’s VB-H41 TVC Network Camera The VB-H41 TVC Network Camera is an IP camera that offers video storage and analytics, making it a more intelligent system, according to Ricardo Chen, system integration manager for Canon.
The VB-H41 is a 1080p IP camera outfitted with a 2.1 MP CMOS sensor that captures detailed images, he said. The camera has a 60.4-degree wide-angle 20x zoom lens (with 12x digital zoom) designed to maximize its low-light performance. The lens enables the camera to record color videos in up to 0.4 lux and black/white videos in up to 0.02 lux, making it suitable to use for low-light conditions.
The VB-H41 supports motion JPEG as well as H.264, and it is outfitted with on-board video analytics and functions, including moving object detection, removed object detection, abandoned object detection, camera tampering detection, volume level detection, and passing (or “tripwire”) detection, which enables it to be tailored to fit a client’s needs, according to Chen.
OTHER IP SUPPORTING DEVICES
IP cameras record surveillance video, but controllers, encoders, servers, switchers and other equipment process the footage so it can be reviewed. In addition, there are instances IP can be used to send warnings over cable television. Some of those devices are:
Genetec’s Synergis Master Controller Genetec’s Synergis Master Controller is an IP controller based on an open architecture; it is expected to be available this month, said Jimmy Palatsoukas, the company’s SMC senior product manager. The product is deployed with approximately 15 Genetec clients, and “we’re getting field data in terms of the performance of the device,” he said.
The SMC has been designed to address longstanding customer demand for non-proprietary access control solutions, Palatsoukas said. “It’s an open device, meaning we’re trying to have our device leveraged into standard hardware, so when the client deploys the device, they are not locked into a single manufacturer for the entire solution,” he said. To meet those client needs, the SMC will offer “native support” of widely deployed and nonproprietary access control hardware from leading vendors, including HID Global and Mercury Security, Genetec said.
Haivision’s Makito X Series Haivison’s Makito X Series addresses “the tremendous growth in the use of live IP video” by offering a six-fold increase in encoding power to deliver advances in picture quality and density, according to Andy Vaughan, Haivision’s vice president for U.S. Federal Sales. The Makito X provides advanced picture quality for video over IP to mobile devices thereby enabling government and military organizations to deliver mission-critical, low-latency HD streaming anywhere, anytime, he said.
The Makito X2 is a dual-channel, low-latency HD-SDI H.264 encoder that can encode up to 12 HD sources (up to 1080p60) to H.264 within 1RU of rack space, according to Haivision. Supporting high-profile H.264 video compression, the Makito X2 delivers highly efficient video encoding, yielding up to twice the picture quality while maintaining the Makito’s 55-millisecond encoding latency, the company said. The picture quality of the Makito X2 streams are on par with broadcast-quality encoders at higher bitrates, and it delivers pristine quality at bitrates lower than 2 Mbps, which is “ideal” for Internet or satellite transport of HD video.
VBrick’s 9000 Series VBrick offers its 9000 Series encoder and decoder, enabling HD encoding and decoding in the same network element, according to Greg Zweig, director of corporate marketing.
Encoders ingest high-quality video and push it out across IP and the distributing media engine, he said. The 9000 Series transforms the content into different formats, and users want that so video can be streamed to mobile devices, he said. Ultimately, users want be able to stream to media walls and have content delivered to mobile command posts, as well as streaming to clients so that surveillance video can be watched, he added.
With encoder latency under 50 milliseconds, and end-to-end latency under 100 milliseconds, the 9000 Series offers broadcast-quality video at costs far less than other broadcast-grade alternatives, according to VBrick. The growing demand for streaming video in corporate, education, government and healthcare institutions is driving the innovation behind the 9000 Series encoder/decoder, the company said.
PESA’s C58 Digital Media System PESA offers its C58 Digital Media System, which is a H.264 device that provides users with the flexibility of HDSDI streams, IP video streams, eight channels of audio, all of which are combined into a one-rack unit box, said Dan Holland, the company’s vice president of product marketing for switching systems. Within that box a user can select from the 15 HDSDI inputs, or any one of the five IP cameras, he said. On the output side, users can pick from the HDMI connections to preview any one of those in a single video display.
On the IP side, once the C58 is set up into a network device, such as a CCTV system with multiple cameras on a network, the user can stream video out over a H.264 transport to any IP address, Holland said. If the user has a cloud environment, the information can be recorded offsite at the same time as it is being previewed. Therefore, a user “can either do playback, pull it from the network video recorder, or pull it from a live stream,” he said. “Everything is based off the H.264.”
TelVue Corp.’s HyperCaster TelVue Corp., which provides broadcast equipment to public, education and government channels, offers its HyperCaster and associated services, that can enable a community to transmit emergency video messages and Amber Alerts over IP, says Paul Andrews, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
The HyperCaster supports MPEG-2 Transport with MPEG-2 and optional H.264 video codecs in standard- or high-definition formats, including CableLabs and ATSC, TelVue says. In addition, the unit’s native IP over Ethernet interface can be integrated with any copper or fiber IP network architecture, and it can provide IP origination for up to 20 digital broadcast channels, the company said. The HyperCaster provides the tools to enable police or emergency management officials to break into PEG channel broadcasts and provide emergency communications that small communities might not get from a large commercial broadcaster, Andrews said.
Wowza’s Media Server 3.5 Wowza Media Systems offers its Wowza Media Server 3.5 software, which can take in a number of different video types and convert them to multiple formats simultaneously, either live or on-demand, and then deliver them to almost any video device, said Chris Knowlton, the company’s vice president of product management.
The Wowza Media Server accepts different video inputs from cameras and from most encoder brands on the market and provides a unified streaming video server solution for live or on-demand streaming to computers, mobile devices and IPTV/OTT endpoints, the company said.
That the Media Server software enables video over IP should be of interest to users with traditional closed-circuit television systems because IP systems are “much less expensive,” Knowlton said. IP system users do not need to run custom wiring because, if there is an existing Ethernet or wireless connection, the connectivity that is needed already exists, he said.
Z-Band Inc.’s GigaBUD Z-Band Inc. offers its GigaBUD, a “video hub that takes satellite and cable TV and amps the signal and then sends it out over Category 5 cable,” said Dick Snyder, principal at Z-Band. “We do that from one hub to another, on a cascade process that is a little bit like a daisy chain,” he added.
“IP video is here, but there’s not a real standard among the different systems,” Snyder said. IP is requiring 100 times the amount of current bandwidth to provide the same quality that is expected from high-definition 1080p TV, for just the basic data system, he said.
In addition, there “is a range of costs in terms of decoding and encoding,” he said. The GigaBUD video hub provides an overall plug-and-play analog or digital video distribution system, he adds. A 240 MHz pilot tone generated by each hub and controlled by AGC circuits serves as a reference signal to generate the consistency and level of output from each hub.
Physical Security Interoperability Alliance: